A significant change to online operations occurred at the height of the global pandemic in 2020. The pandemic that upended our lives changed the way we operate and do business. Tech startups also began to flourish, like cloud-based touchless solutions catering to demands in the new normal.
Amid a time of crisis comes tech startups rising to the demand of a new normal economy. It opened up new opportunities to build unique models for various enterprises.
Let’s look at ten of these tech startups ideas in the new normal:
The food-tech sector suffered quite a blow as both public, and private establishments were closed or reduced operations to observe social distancing restrictions in 2020. But after the initial effects of the lockdowns, border closures, travel suspensions, and the like, food tech startups began to pop up like mushrooms, using online channels as their primary avenue for reaching their consumers and selling to them.
In fact, we have seen during the pandemic that food businesses are one of those businesses allowed to open because it is considered as “essential.” So even if restaurants and other food establishments had to stop dine-in services, they were able to serve their customers through other means, like through drive-through experience or food delivery.
Food delivery services increased dramatically around the world, and even grocery delivery also increased. Analysts estimate that online food distribution industry sales will rise by 40% over the next two years, with the five largest markets currently estimated to receive over $107 billion in revenue combined.
But even before the pandemic, there was already an increasingly growing focus on sustainable living. It gave way to many food-tech startups wanting to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly and healthy food. The market for next-generation food is growing simultaneously with the world’s population and is currently in the trillions of dollars.
New developments in the food tech industry promise to give consumers confidence in their food. More and more people are also interested in foods that support their immunity in the face of the pandemic, and experts foresee the trend to continue in 2021.
Even before the pandemic, box subscriptions were booming for everything from food preparation kits, gardening kits to beauty products. And because most event venues and restaurants have closed or reduced capacity, do-it-at-home event kits are also in demand.
Owing to an increase in consumers who choose to escape crowds and get all delivered right to their doorstep, these tech startup companies have recently seen a spike in new customers.
The most significant benefit of box subscriptions is their ability to pick customized product suggestions based on consumers’ tastes and interests. For instance, there is a revived interest in home-based hobbies and DIY activities, such as constructing model aircraft and trains, origami, and sewing.
Top-quality goods combined with outstanding customer experience would help to make any subscription service stand out in the competitive market.
Third-party delivery services are one of the new normal business boons that gave the opportunity for tech startups. Aside from the usual logistics-centric businesses in this niche, many new entrepreneurs compete with large-scale operators, prioritizing a locality or a particular type of service.
For instance, when shops opened on partial capacity, consumers opted for small-scale third-party delivery services to minimize pick-up and delivery costs. It was also beneficial for shop owners since they do not have to manage all incoming orders.
These third-party delivery services also opened up new jobs, especially those who may have lost theirs during the massive lockdowns happening in most countries affected. Consumers took control of where they are buying their food and how it would be delivered to them, so more and more entrepreneurs needed to innovate, including outsourcing independent riders.
You can even go to Facebook, for example, to book riders that serve their specific locality or specialized in delivering a particular product. As of now, this has turned into a viable option for small-scale business operators and tech startups. The trend is foreseen to continue well into 2021 as a new normal standard beyond the pandemic.
Since massive numbers of businesses had to move online, not all of them have a creative and technical team who can handle the requirements and workforce needed to go live. It is why tech startups in the web design industry are also on the rise.
From web development to web designers, SEO content managers, and Social Media Marketing managers, the demand from businesses of varying industries is still increasing.
In the case of businesses that previously relied solely on their brick-and-mortar operations, they need a lot of help in building an online presence, producing professional-looking websites and social media accounts, and managing all this daily for continued engagements and lead generation.
Digital marketing skills are also in high-demand, as businesses venture into promoting their brand and selling their products or services online. Web design tools are also in-demand, so those who have the skill for web design and development can create tools to cater to this need.
The web design and development business increased by 6.6% in the past five years, producing $38 billion ROI in 2019. As business owners were opened to this lower-cost but high-yielding online promotion gateway, experts believe that this trend is one that will stick for years to come.
The education sector received the most attention during these challenging times. Investors are putting money into EdTech startups to help educational institutions and education-based businesses as COVID-19 persists.
There have been alternative approaches to education, including distant learning and homeschooling, for many years. It was only recently that they entered the education market as a major player. EduTech startups focusing on helping parents and schools handle the new normal learning mode continue to be more in-demand.
Addressing students’ needs to continue learning using digital modalities has opened many opportunities for education-based businesses to thrive in the pandemic. It also gave way for professionals in the field to develop touchless solutions themselves, using the power of digital media, information, and technology, and even social media to engage with students, their families, and other teaching professionals.
For example, Micro SaaS companies creating apps for online classes or modular learning became more available. Other EduTech startups focused on converting printed materials into ebooks and online reference materials.
The fact that the pandemic is not yet over and is seen by experts to persist in the next 2-3 years, several organizations have already taken measures to design an effective online curriculum. As distance learning is taking the mainstream, it is also showing a plethora of possibilities for the EduTech industry.
Remote working isn’t going anywhere. On the other hand, it will only widen over time. For those that are already working remotely, the new work-from-home setup is not new. For office employees, though, it may be challenging to switch to working remotely. For the right entrepreneur, this may be a promising possibility.
If you’re someone who has worked remotely for many years or has handled distributed teams, you can use your skills to build your own tech startup to help companies make the transition. Any company will have to change to this new paradigm.
You can focus on launching a business that caters to remote work or provide tools for remote workers to do their job seamlessly in this new working environment. In particular, companies like Zoom rose to prominence in 2020 because it was a great choice for a range of use cases, from small group calls to large-scale ones.
Although they had some technical and security problems at the beginning of the pandemic due to the massive surge of users, they were able to bounce back immediately, and service companies, schools, and the like safely and efficiently conduct their Zoom meetings and webinars.
If you can build a tech startup along these lines, go ahead and don’t be intimidated by the big players. You can concentrate on a specific area, a particular industry, or perhaps with a niche, such as independent online vendors. You can even open a tech startup to cater to a specific age group, like older adults in the workforce who are not tech-savvy and are wary of their online privacy. The opportunities are expansive.
In such challenging and changing times, anything that focuses on communication, organization, security, collaboration, or time management can make your tech startup boom.
Most businesses shifting online have faced many challenges this past year, particularly from a technical perspective.
With the prevalence of working from home becoming more prevalent, businesses had to set up more permanent, stable, and dependable IT infrastructure. You can build a tech startup that answers this need.
You can offer consultancy services to help businesses select and set-up the appropriate software programs and resources while hardening their systems to protect data, employees’ work file access, and financial transactions.
Due to invoicing and payment frequency, freelancers and micro-businesses rely on their monthly recurring revenue (MRR). They must thus be able to send out invoices and receive payment quickly and securely. Your technology startup can concentrate on this unique niche and offer reliable tools for subscription and billing.
An integrated financial report calendar for incoming invoices, as well as a forecast feature for possible monthly sales, could be part of the system. An improvement in customer satisfaction, along with a net increase in revenues, can be seen in these kinds of software services, which help corporations and independent workers improve customer satisfaction and increase revenues between 25% and 95%.
Developing a simple and easy website along with a mobile app is a great way to expand your business or move it online. In the new normal economy, eCommerce is booming rapidly, not just for large-scale companies but also for SMEs (Small-to-Medium-sized Enterprises) and independent entrepreneurs. Talking about the eCommerce business, it’s the best time to start one.
Commerce tech startups can take advantage of the fact that they can serve all kinds of industries marketing their products and services online. Even if there are a myriad of eCommerce services in the market, there is still room for more. That is how dynamic commercially viable this industry is today.
Podcasts have seen continued growth even amidst the boom of social media channels and video streaming content. 55% of US consumers are podcast listeners just in 2020 alone.
This internet-based audio content has impressive digital technology effects on information and communication. It produces widespread accessibility of audio for on-the-go consumers because it allows users to consume content even while multitasking.
Podcasts can strengthen a brand’s popularity and its connections with its target audiences. It is a great avenue to optimize different marketing strategies and open up new lead generation avenues available only to podcasters.
Your tech startup can be about helping businesses, influencers, and other content creators start and maintain their podcasts. You can also just focus on particular podcasting tasks, such as content creation or audio editing.
Also, try venturing into creating podcasting tools or integration tools that connect podcast channels seamlessly with other software or applications.
Lastly, you can also focus on podcast content marketing only to conduct brand awareness strategies, audience building, and promotion, either for a business enterprise or an independent podcaster.
Tech startups are a robust business model that allows you to cater to people’s specific needs, preferences, and demographics. That’s the beauty of a tech startup because you don’t need to go big or fill every need. You can focus on the kind of customers you want to serve and the niche you want to be known for. You can start by researching what kinds of services your niche needs. Explore if the need has been met, then identify what you can offer to fulfill the need. It is your opportunity to build something incredible and see your tech startup business grow.
Mayleen Meñez used to work in media before finding her true passion in NGO work, traveling the Philippines and Asia doing so. She homeschools 3 kids and loves reinventing Filipino dishes. She is a resident SEO writer for Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand.